Türkiye’s highest building to become a tourist attraction

Hurriyet Daily News - Sapphire skyscraper, currently in its final stages of completion, is expected to become a site of attraction for some seven million tourists who visit Istanbul each year. The building will include a new shopping center called Sapphire Carsi, focusing on local design, patterns and traditions, giving the second-highest building in Europe an authentic Turkish touch. The mall will have 134 shops in 30,500 square-meters of rented retail space next to the metro station in the city’s 4.Levent district. Nahit Kiler, Chairman of Kiler Holding which owns Sapphire, envisages the complex becoming one of the main centers of attraction in Istanbul. The 300-meter-high building is the highest in Türkiye and the second-highest in Europe. Its scenic terrace located at a height of 236 meters, likely to host an upscale restaurant and a nightclub, will be the first of its kind in Türkiye. The total cost of the building is USD 250 million, excluding land, and it is being built to resist earthquakes of at least magnitude 8. The building will be completed by February 2010. “Currently, 85 percent of tourists in Istanbul do not come to the Buyukdere Avenue at all to see modern life, but visit only the historic places in Istanbul. Once the scenic terrace of Sapphire and its shopping center open, I believe the situation will change”, Kiler told reporters in Istanbul on Tuesday. “Sapphire will become the fourth main attraction of Istanbul following Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Sultanahmet. Tour operators are already awaiting the completion of the project with great enthusiasm.”